Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

Study Finds Listening To Music You Like Hurts Cognitive Ability, Listening To Music You Don’t Like Is Not As Bad, But Quiet Is Best


A new study has found, as my headline says (it may be the longest headline I’ve ever used on a blog post), working in quiet is the best atmosphere for cognitive work, listening to music you don’t like is next, and listening to music you like creates the worst cognitive atmosphere.

This finding is in line with a previous post, “Background Music Can Impair Performance, Cites New Study.” There, I wrote about how I’ve used it, and received several comments from readers about their use of music in the classroom.

What do you think — does this support or not support your experiences?

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Hi Larry, This makes me think of the studies refuting the very possibility of “multi-tasking,” since in reality it’s not possible to pay real attention to more than one thing at a time. Thus, what so-called multi-taskers are actually doing is rapidly switching attention from one thing to another, and with every switch comes a small loss of time, and thus a consequent diminution of overall productivity.

  2. I am a chess player. Serious chess demands quiet….absolute quiet. Even the sound of video cameras whirring during the 1972 Fisher Spaaski World Championship upset Fisher’s concentration.

Leave a Reply to Norman Constantine Cancel reply

Required fields are marked *.

Skip to toolbar